Celebrated French designer Philippe Starck has opened a multi-sensory, East-meets-West dining concept just off the Champs-Élysées in central Paris. The luxury restaurant, which serves Asian food with a Western twist, centres on the character of Miss Kō – a fictional Eurasian female conceived by London design and brand agency GBH to personify the space’s curiosity for modern European-Asian hybrid culture.
Describing itself as a “temple of urban art”, the restaurant’s imagery and menus feature Miss Kō’s ‘yazuka’ full-body tattoo, created by artist Horikitsune – the only European to study under the world-renowned Japanese tattoo artist Horiyoshi III, adding to the idea of a convergence of East with West. Miss Kō’s fantasy world further inspires the restaurant’s collateral, including her private sketchbook and photograph album, which double as cocktail and dessert menus.
The focal point of the theatrical 500 sqm space is a 26 meter bar, which runs the length of the room and is composed entirely of digital screens playing Asian news channels interspersed with a dragon video creation from Paris-based art collective Dalbin. A colourful fresco inspired by Japanese cartoon art form Manga and created by French artist David Rocheline sits behind the bar, while a light installation by French designer Jean-Philippe Bourdon projects morphing Asian faces onto a wall. In the future, the restaurant plans to host sensory events organised around fashion, music and photography.
Growing consumer interest in fantastical experiences is fuelling the creation of immersive hospitality concepts. See Covert Clubs, Club Silencio and Prohibition: Style Revival for more on this growing trend. Also see Altering Perceptions and Immersive Theatre for more on how experiential events and multi-sensory experiences can be used as a branding tool.